Overview of financial support for the migrant community

12 October 2020
Migration and skilledmi Settlement Employment

Translated COVID-19 resources - available in 50+ languages

Victorian Government - Coronavirus homepage 

Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398

Overview of financial support for people of migrant & refugee backgrounds during COVID-19 

Here is the announcement re doubling of hardship payments: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/doubling-hardship-support-victorias-most-vulnerable

Q&As on our website go into more of the operational detail: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/financial-support-coronavirus-covid-19#extreme-hardship-support-program



Social Security benefits and concessions
Some Australian citizens and residents may be eligible for a range of financial support through Services Australia (Centrelink), in addition to Coronavirus Supplement ($550 p/fn, reduced to $250 p/fn from Sept 25) and/or the Economic Support Payment $750).

Special Benefit
This fortnightly payment similar to JobSeeker is for people in severe financial hardship through no fault if their own, with savings under $5000, and can’t get other income support from Services Australia (Centrelink), perhaps because they do not meet the residency requirements.

Emergency Relief Payment
Australian Red Cross receives Federal Government funding specifically to support people who are on temporary visas with a small one-off emergency relief payment, to help them meet their basic needs, like food, medicine or shelter.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
Support of $1500 lump sum payment to help Victorians during the 14 days who cannot earn an income because they are required to self-isolate or quarantine at home, as instructed by the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services. Or they are caring for someone with COVID-19. 

Household Relief Loan
The Federal Government with National Australia Bank and Good Shepherd are providing no interest loans up to $3,000 towards rent and utilities, paid to the agent/landlord or utility company.

Early Release of Superannuation
For people who have been adversely financially affected by COVID-19, they may be able to access some of their superannuation early. 

Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS)
Individuals or families may be eligible to receive support through SRSS if they are:
• unlawful and living in the Australian community – particularly if they are engaged with International Office of Migration (IOM) with a view to returning to their home country
• an illegal maritime arrival (IMA) and have lodged a TPV or SHEV visa application
• a non-IMA and have lodged a valid protection visa application
• a holder of a Bridging Visa E (BVE)
• facing significant barriers that are impacting on their ability to resolve their immigration status or their ability to work
• recently released from immigration detention.
To enquire contact Life Without Barriers in Dandenong on 8752 8500 or AMES intake worker at Noble Park on 0402 977 140

COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant

Extreme Hardship Support Program

Homeless and Housing support initiatives during COVID-19
The State Government’s program to shelter homeless Victorians in hotels during the coronavirus pandemic has been extended until April next year

Isolation and Recovery Facilities

COVID-19 Emergency relief package

COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment

Work off Fines (WDP)
The Work and Development Permit (WDP) scheme is an initiative of the Victorian Government to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged people with a non-financial option to address their fine debt by participating in certain activities and treatment, including:
• unpaid work
• treatment given by a doctor, nurse or psychologist
• courses, including educational, vocational or life skills courses
• counselling, including financial or other types of counselling
• drug and alcohol counselling, and
• mentoring (for a person under 25 years of age).
When applying for a WDP, a supervising sponsor will help a person to choose the activities that are best suited to their needs. A sponsor is an organisation or a health practitioner accredited to support the WDP scheme.
To work off their fines a person must be engaged with a sponsor and must:
• have a mental or intellectual disability, disorder or illness, OR
• have an addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance, OR
• be experiencing homelessness, OR be experiencing acute financial hardship, OR be the victim of family violence.

Utility bills relief, grants and assistance

Material Aid & Meals
Each region has a range of agencies, churches and organisations who are providing material aid even during the pandemic. 
Search by postcode: https://askizzy.org.au/food-banks/

COVID Hardship Support Hotline 1300 121 130

No Interest Loans Scheme
www.nils.com.au or call 13 64 57


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